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Analysing whether a country's policies and actions sustainably increase its wellbeing

Since we stopped measuring success through military victories, money (and GDP in particular) has been the most common economic measure of a country’s success. A 2009 study by economists Amartya Sen, Joseph Stiglitz, and Jean-Paul...

Can “happiness data” help evaluate economic policies?

Imagine a government confronted with a controversial policy question, like whether it should cut the level of unemployment benefits. Will social welfare rise as a result? Will some groups be winners and other groups be...

Subjective wellbeing impacts of national and subnational fiscal policies

Fiscal policy    balances growth, wellbeing.    What is best for whom?    We study the association between fiscal policy and subjective wellbeing using fiscal data on 35 countries and 130 country-years, combined with over...

Income or Consumption: Which Better Predicts Subjective Wellbeing?

How should we predict    wellbeing? Use consumption    rather than income.    
The positive relationship between income and subjective wellbeing has been well documented. However, work assessing the relationship of alternative material wellbeing metrics...

Subjective wellbeing impacts of national and subnational fiscal policies

We study the association between fiscal policy and subjective wellbeing using fiscal data on 34 countries across 129 country-years, combined with over 170,000 people's subjective wellbeing scores. While past research has found that "distortionary taxes"...

The Material Wellbeing of New Zealand Households

A new measure of material wellbeing based on actual household consumption rather than on their incomes, shows that New Zealand households have amongst the highest material living standards in the world. Using country averages for households that...

Relative Income and Subjective Wellbeing: Intra-national and Inter-national Comparisons by Settlement and Country Type

It is now widely accepted that broad measures of wellbeing should be incorporated into policy-makers’ objective functions when making policy choices. There may, however, be a paradox in the relationship between GDP, income and subjective wellbeing that...

A New Cross-Country Measure of Material Wellbeing and Inequality: Methodology, Construction and Results

This paper advances a new framework for defining a country’s material wellbeing based on the distribution of consumer durables, building on the recent material wellbeing literature that calls for an increased focus on both the...

Maximising Utility - Taking Measures of Wellbeing Seriously in Policy

Governments and policy-markets across the world now pay at least lip-service to maximising the wellbeing of their citizens, rather than maximising GDP per capita. Calls in this direction have been made variously by Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi (USA-UK-France),...

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